© 2012

Complexity Theories of Cities Have Come of Age

An Overview with Implications to Urban Planning and Design

  • Juval Portugali
  • Han Meyer
  • Egbert Stolk
  • Ekim Tan

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Juval Portugali
    Pages 1-2
  3. Complexity Theories and Complexity Theories of Cities: An Overview

  4. Aspects of Cities as Complex Systems

  5. Complexity Theories of Cities: Implications to Urban Planning and Design

About this book


Today, our cities are an embodiment of the complex, historical evolution of knowledge, desires and technology. Our planned and designed activities co-evolve with our aspirations, mediated by the existing technologies and social structures.  The city represents the accretion and accumulation of successive layers of collective activity, structuring and being structured by other, increasingly distant cities, reaching now right around the globe.

This historical and structural development cannot therefore be understood or captured by any set of fixed quantitative relations. Structural changes imply that the patterns of growth, and their underlying reasons change over time, and therefore that any attempt to control the morphology of cities and their patterns of flow by means of planning and design, must be dynamical, based on the mechanisms that drive the changes occurring at a given moment.

This carefully edited post-proceedings volume gathers a snapshot view by leading researchers in field, of current complexity theories of cities. In it, the achievements, criticisms and potentials yet to be realized are reviewed and the implications to planning and urban design are assessed.


complex urban environments urban networks urban planning

Editors and affiliations

  • Juval Portugali
    • 1
  • Han Meyer
    • 2
  • Egbert Stolk
    • 3
  • Ekim Tan
    • 4
  1. 1.Dept. GeographyTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Research laboratory ULab., Urban Design - Theory & MethodsTU DelftDelftNetherlands
  3. 3., Environmental Planning and EcologyTU DelftDelftNetherlands
  4. 4., International New Town InstituteTU DelftDelftNetherlands

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Complexity Theories of Cities Have Come of Age
  • Book Subtitle An Overview with Implications to Urban Planning and Design
  • Editors Juval Portugali
    Han Meyer
    Egbert Stolk
    Ekim Tan
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Engineering Engineering (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-642-24543-5
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-642-44659-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-642-24544-2
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIV, 434
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Urbanism
    Human Geography
    Data-driven Science, Modeling and Theory Building
  • Buy this book on publisher's site